Umatilla County Fair kicks off in Hermiston

Thousands of people are flocking to Hermiston this week for the 2013 Umatilla County Fair.

People are packing the fairgrounds to check out livestock, play games and hear live music.

The fair has been around since 1912, and residents and organizers say coming to the fair is a family tradition they look forward to every year.

Annika Jennings and Kennidy Baker have been looking forward to this year's Umatilla County Fair since last year's fair ended.

The two girls are part of the Farm City Wranglers in Hermiston and today, they're showing off their lamb, Ammidy.

"You feel different when you come to the fair and you have an animal here. You feel like you belong here" said Jennings.

Today, thousands of people from across the region packed into the county fairgrounds in Hermiston for day one of the five day event.

Many adults say coming here is a family tradition.

"Because my grand kids are here. I gotta take them around. And just everything, there's not one thing that we do or we look for, it's just everything" said Richard Swentik, Prosser resident.

And there's plenty to see and do.

There's a rodeo, a carnival, games for children, pony rides, and of course lots of food.

How about a deep fried candy bar? Or a chocolate covered bug? Yeah, they're real - workers even pulled out some chocolate covered scorpions to show us.

And of course, there are the animals.

Dozens are on display for competitions throughout the week.

"A lot of our animal barns are full. We have sheep and pigs and goats and chickens and bunny rabbits and steers. You name it, we've got it" said Peggy Anderson, fairgrounds manager.

The Umatilla County Fair is also a big economic boost to the area, as more than 80,000 people from across the region are expected to go to the fair this week.

"It brings in tourism. It brings in folks who want to look at the county, maybe some people who even want to decide, do we want to live in Umatilla County?" said Larry Givens, Umatilla County commissioner.

Families say day one has been fun so far, and it is only going to get busier as the week moves forward.

"It's just a great place to be and it's a great place for families. It's a wonderful place" said Baker.

For more information on the fair, click here.